Vartan Arachelian

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Critics about

Novel, Fiction LTD series, Polirom, 2015, 256 pages

Copyright: Polirom

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Critics about

 “Vartan Arachelian depicts a protagonist captive to dual memory, peeled away to encompass the meaning of a whole truth. He invests his protagonist with the condition of author, narrator, actor, director, reader, among others, all of them adrift in a present ravaged by appearances. From their interplay arise scenes from the past, with Freudian undercurrents, erotic enigmas and anecdotes laid up in the city at the edge of the world : Tomis. At the end of the night. The game and farce of the end — both poem like and parabolic — enclose the narratives in the cosmic spectacle of roaming through history. The curtain of the thousand and one nights finally falls on the ‘Romanian California’ only if we recognise that we belong to a place insofar as we have emptied it of mysteries. A novel about the final interpretation : a history that playacts.” 

(Marius MIHET)

“The author’s style seems to me to have two sources. The character’s return to his home town is like a picaresque expedition to a place altered by time and haunted by the shadows of those he has known and new, strange, colourful characters, whose logic is not immediately or easily decipherable. The second source is the novels of Ilf and Petrov – the absurd combined with ideology in a world seeking a direction after the social tempest of the revolution, all described in comic tones. Whereas in Ilf and Petrov there was still a degree of optimism, since the authors may well have believed in the rightness of the socialist way, in Arachelian’s prose from the end of the 1980s, after forty years of social engineering, there is no longer any room for anything but cynicism.”



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